Anthony Joshua retained his world heavyweight titles by successfully dispatching Kubrat Pulev in December, but what is next for the two-time world champion?
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Anthony Joshua’s Next Fight: Joshua v Fury?
Even before Anthony Joshua had even stepped in the ring with Kubrat Pulev on December 12 all of the chatter was about who the world heavyweight champion, so now that the Bulgarian has been sent packing what really is next for ‘AJ’?
The arrival of cruiserweight kingpin Oleksandr Ursyk has thrown a new face into the mix at the very top of the heavyweight division and the talented Ukrainian has made it no secret that he wants the opportunity to step in the ring with Joshua and stake a claim to being the best heavyweight boxer on the planet. Long-time rival Dillian Whyte is another option despite his surprise defeat to Alexander Povetkin earlier this year, while fight fans are still intrigued by a Joshua-Deontay Wilder fight despite the ‘Bronze Bomber’ being demolished by Tyson Fury in early 2020.
But of course, the one fight all heavyweight boxing fans want to see in 2020 is a unification scrap between Anthony Joshua and Tyson Fury. Nothing gets the pulses racing like a huge heavyweight showdown and a scrap between these two for all of the marbles would almost certainly set record numbers for both attendance and PPV. If this all-British encounter is to take place on home soil it would almost certainly need to take place inside a massive football stadium, namely Wembley, but that could mean fight fans having to wait until maybe the summer before Joshua-Fury happens.
It would be worth the wait, but could that result in AJ agreeing to a ‘filler’ fight until then. Only time will tell, but once we know his next plans we will have them outlined here.
Anthony Joshua Next Fight Odds
While Anthony Joshua’s next opponent has not been confirmed, you can already bet on a number of potential fights involving the world heavyweight champion. Paddy Power is offering odds on two potential ‘AJ’ fights for 2021 and they predicting mixed fortunes.
Joshua is the 4/7 favourite for a bout with ex-WBC champion Deontay Wilder (5/4), but the Irish bookmaker believes his reign will be ended if he does share the ring with Tyson Fury. Fury has been installed as a 4/7 favourite for a potential showdown between the pair, with Joshua considered an 11/8 underdog.
Anthony Joshua’s Last Fight
Joshua’s most recent outing saw him end an almost one-year absence from the ring. ‘AJ’ had not fought since avenging his shock knockout defeat to Andy Ruiz Jr by picking apart and dominating the chunky Mexican in December 2019, but that exile finally came to an end when he took on Kubrat Pulev in a bout that had to be rearranged from June to December 2020 and moved from Tottenham Hotspur Stadium to Wembley Arena.
The delay and the change of venue did little to effect the outcome. When Joshua took on Ruiz Jr in the rematch he showed a more composed and calculated approach than in previous outings and it resulted in a one-sided blowout that proved that the shock defeat in New York several months earlier had been nothing more than a fluke. And it was a similar performance that put away Pulev back on December 12.
Joshua was able to floor Pulev twice in the third round of the contest, but instead of getting reckless like he did after dropping Ruiz Jr in their infamous first fight, the world heavyweight champion did not throw caution to the wind. Instead of swarming the challenger he appeared to take his foot off the gas and that allowed Pulev to stick around a little longer, but there was an inevitability that once ‘AJ’ moved up through the gears it would be ‘game over’. A flurry of uppercuts in the ninth sent Pulev crashing to the canvas once again and although he was able to get back to his feet, a big right hand moments later finally brought the fight to a close.
“I started this game in 2013,” he told Sky Sports afterwards. “I’ve been chasing all the belts. I’ve been dealing with mandatories. Of course I want the challenge. It’s not about the opponent, it’s about the legacy and the belt. Whoever has got the belt, I would love to compete with them. If that is Tyson Fury, let it be Tyson Fury. It’s no big deal. It’s one fight at a time, picking them off one by one. That’s all it’s about for me. I’ve got to stay focused.”
Where Can I Watch The Anthony Joshua Fight?
Anthony Joshua’s next opponent has not yet been confirmed, but it is safe to say what options UK fight fans will have for the world heavyweight champion’s next outing. Matchroom Boxing’s exclusive deal with Sky Sports means the broadcaster will have television rights to the contest in the UK, and of course that means fight fans are going to have to shell out some cash to watch it live. Most PPV events in the UK are priced between £15 and £20, but Joshua’s fight with Pulev was priced at around the £25 mark and that should be the case again for his next defence.
If you are not planning on watching the PPV there are still ways to follow it in full. BBC Radio 5 Live’s boxing coverage is outstanding and will almost certainly be broadcasting the fight live on radio, while if you are not fussed about following it live and can wait a few days, Sky Sports will air the fight in full to subscribers and add it to their YouTube page before the end of the following week.
What Time Is The Anthony Joshua Fight?
Promoter Eddie Hearn is yet to confirm who Anthony Joshua will face in his next defence of the world heavyweight titles in 2021, but we thoroughly expect any bout to take place on a Saturday night and if it happens in UK it is likely that Joshua will not make his ring walk until around 21:30-22:00 GMT. If the fight happens over in the United States then British fans will need to put on a pot of coffee or set an alarm because the bout would not get underway until at least 03:00 GMT on the Sunday morning. The running order for the event will be confirmed in the week leading up to fight night.
Anthony Joshua Facts & Stats
|Record||24 wins (22 KOs), 1 loss (1 KO)|
|Longest Win Streak||22 fights|
|Professional Debut||October 5th, 1989|
|Fastest Win||Matt Legg KO, 1min 23 seconds (May 31st, 2014)|
|World Titles Won||WBA (Super) heavyweight (twice), IBF heavyweight (twice)
WBO heavyweight (twice), IBO, heavyweight (twice)
|Highest Attendance||90,000 – vs. Wladimir Klitschko (April 29th 2017)|
|Date Of Birth||October 15th, 1989|
|Birth Place||Watford, England|